It’s been a long time since my last post, but recent transportation news is too big to ignore. Both the major political parties have announced their stances on tolls.
On the same day the Liberals announced they would cap tolls on the Port Mann and Golden Ears Bridges at $500 a year starting Jan. 1, 2018 — a move that could cut a motorist’s driving costs by up to $1,000 a year — NDP leader John Horgan stole the Liberals’ thunder by promising to get rid of tolls for both bridges altogether if elected.
Reducing or eliminating the tolls will certainly save money for individual bridge users in the short term, but who is going to pay for the costs of the Port Mann and Golden Ears Bridges. Both bridges have not been paid off and both bridges are losing money.
There is no long term plan or vision from either the BC Liberals or NDP. They both offer awful short term vote-getting policies. The whole province will be paying indirectly through their taxes for the money-losing bridges. That kind of dead weight in our taxes will make it more difficult for more sustainable transportation projects to become reality.
The Mayors’ Council has probably the best long term vision and the most sustainable plan.
The Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation issued a statement late Sunday saying neither party has committed to “workable solutions” that would reduce congestion in the region over the long-term. Metro mayors had been calling on the government to implement a new tolling policy for regional bridges.
A new regional plan where tolls are on all bridges or road pricing would spread out the costs instead of punishing the South of the Fraser communities. The Mayors have the most reasonable and sustainable plan. Unfortunately, the two parties that could form the next provincial government are only interested in short-term political gain. They’re not interested in long-term, sustainable solutions to our transportation infrastructure.